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I could not understand the meaning of "without" in this sentence and it seems redundant. The sentence is taken from the novel "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.

As the door began to open, the howling of wolves without grew louder and angrier.

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2 Answers 2

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It means outside.

Dictionary.com has this:

adverb
6. in or into an exterior or outer place; outside.
7. outside a house, building, etc.: The carriage awaits without.

Note that several dictionaries consider this usage archaic. In Bram Stoker's Dracula it seems fitting, though :)

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    The opposite word, "within" in the sense of "inside", is possibly less archaic than "without." The Scottish word "outwith" is also not archaic, but it usually refers to things or abstract concepts rather than location - e.g. the minutes of a meeting might state that some item was "outwith the terms of reference of the committee." It's often used by Scots living outwith Scotland, where British or American English would use "outside".
    – alephzero
    Jul 20, 2016 at 17:45
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    I'd like to clarify that, while it is indeed archaic, it is also still correct English. (IMO, an important distinction to make for people who want to learn English)
    – Nic
    Jul 21, 2016 at 5:14
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    See also the hymn "There is a green hill far away / without a city wall", where 'without' does not mean 'lacking' but simply 'outside'
    – AakashM
    Jul 21, 2016 at 7:43
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Traditionally, "without" can mean anything outside of a possible remit. Today it is used largely for ownership ("He left without his coat"), but it can also be locational, in this case outside of the door. It's use in the locational sense is rarely used these days, but was more common up to the 19th Century.

Consider it an antonym of "within" in this context.

adverb

6. in or into an exterior or outer place; outside.

7. outside a house, building, etc.: The carriage awaits without.

Source:Dictionary.com

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  • @StoneyB amended to fit your time frame.
    – ajfstuart
    Jul 20, 2016 at 14:45

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